The village got the first bowhead whale of the season today! They were the first out of the whole state, so they are way excited. I am excited too, as this means there is no school tomorrow. It was a small female bowhead that was only about 25 feet long. They finally pulled in onshore about 11:00 pm (just as the sun was setting), and spent the rest of the night butchering it. They had a terrible time getting it out of the water, even though they had huge construction equipment to help them. Rushing does not work well when dealing with multi-ton whales.
Once it was finally out of the water, we all stood close and took pictures with it. The skin was much more spongy and forgiving than I expected it to be. All this time I thought whale skin was more plastic and rigid.
The whaling crew butchered the whale and doled out the cuts according to crew and clan rank. We were given a piece of whale meat at the end (they prefer the blubber). Ashley and I cooked it up like a steak . . . and it was just as good if not better than any steak I have ever eaten! It was very rich and tender. I would eat it again, most definitely.
PS Happy Easter!